2022 – GWB on Memorial Day: Big flag and weird customers
……………………………………………….(ignore April 30, 2017 publish date – this was published on June 5, 2022)
OK – this is the shoot I envisioned doing when I shot those super-long vehicles coming off a highway on May 1………….assuming I could find a spot that showed the bridge, the flag, the toll booths and potentially/suitably strange-looking vehicles.
Fortunately, I was already well-aware of such a place. You may remember the story about NJ Governor Chris Christie supposedly causing traffic problems at the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee and you probably saw the pictures of the jammed approach to the tollbooths and all the traffic cones.
This picture by someone else shows the location, but wasn’t taken during the Christie problem (you can tell because there are FAR fewer cones in it):
Anyway, you can see the bridge on the far right. This angle would be too far to the right away from the toll booths for what I wanted. Besides, the cars coming in from the right would need to go in two directions to reach the tollbooths and my PANO shots are taken in one direction.
On the far left, see that patch of concrete that separates those tollbooth-bound cars from a lane that would let other cars get off the highway before the tolls? That’s probably where I needed to be.
I also needed there to be very little traffic because my PANO shots require vehicles to be in motion………..otherwise they would just be snapshots like the above. Memorial Day would probably be a very good day for light traffic.
The bonus to all this was that there’s a bus that’s about 100’ from my front door that goes over the bridge, but stops at Bridge Plaza right on the tollbooth approach. The stop there is less than a half-block from that concrete patch.
I haven’t taken a bus in ages and with the price of gas being what it is, I thought it might be an interesting change. Further bonus: with senior discount, it cost a big $1.10 to get there. Got the bus at 8:50am and started shooting at the Bridge Plaza 18 minutes later.
CLICK MOST OF THESE IMAGES ONCE OR TWICE TO FULLY ENLARGE
Here’s the primary reason I picked that concrete patch: the flag was visible through the tollbooth:
And here comes the first super-long car to ever approach a GWB tollbooth:
A couple of trucks approach the Stretch and NoodleTruck tollbooth lanes:
Think this trailer is long enough for this motorcycle?
I guess I was expecting what happened next. A Port Authority police car suddenly pulled up next to me and the concrete patch. The cop asked me what I was doing. I guess a man standing on a small concrete patch near a tollbooth waving his cell phone at passing vehicles might need to explain himself.
“Uhh……..I’m using my radar app to check for speeders” ran through my mind, but I wasn’t doing anything illegal that I was aware of, so I explained the panoramic/crazy vehicles/bridge/flag thing to him. He didn’t say anything, so I asked him “Wanna see some?”
“That’s OK…………you’re not doing anything wrong – just be safe” and drove away.
But the kicker to all this was that he was in the tollbooth approach lane and wasn’t going to cross the bridge, so he turned on his flashing lights and started driving west against the eastbound traffic that was approaching the tollbooths.
“I gotta get this!”
And I did:
Maybe I’ll send this to the Port Authority so the cop can see what I was talking about.
After shooting this megabus…………
……….I decided to go elsewhere.
If you look at the cop car picture, you can see a staircase coming down from the overpass (Lemoine Ave) to the highway. I would need to walk to Lemoine, go down the stairs, walk under the overpass to where I could catch the bus home. Here’s that staircase:
But I had plenty of time and wanted to walk back toward the bridge to take certain shots. Before I did that, I walked down the stairs and took this lopsided-looking shot by the highway:
I walked down to Hudson Terrace, which goes under the bridge just past the tollbooths. Right away, this red car of many taillights came by:
If you’ve ever walked across the GWB, you know that pedestrians share the walkway with MANY bicyclists from both sides of the Hudson River. There were a lot of them on Hudson Terrace on this Memorial Day.
Here are 5 that look like 50:
Time to get up on the bridge. I asked the cop in the car behind my hands if I could take a closeup of the convex mirror so I could get the bridge, the flag and what was coming up behind us. “OK”:
What I didn’t expect to include were my suddenly-long fingers on one hand (Hmmmm…………new PANO things to explore?)
These trucks HAVE to be violating bridge weight limits:
OK – finally on the bridge and this is as far as I’m going. I’ve already shot the flag multiple times from close up and underneath, plus there’s a bus I need to catch to get back home:
One last shot of Hudson Terrace under the GWB:
Found on a wall on my way back. I have no idea what the image shows, but the writing indicates that “El Sluto” can’t be a woman:
So I get back to the bus stop in time with a couple of minutes to spare and I wait, and I wait, and I wait…………..and I check the bus schedule on the bus shelter wall. The hourly bus left 10-15 minutes ago.
It turns out that the online schedule was accurate going TO the bridge, but not in the reverse direction! I had to wait another 45-50 minutes for the next one.
Guess what I took pictures of during that wait. SO many long trucks that I won’t bore you with them here (maybe I’ll bore you with them in another post).
I DO have one final shot that I took when I was finally on my way back.
The bus was supposed to go the length of the main street in Teaneck – Cedar Lane – but got detoured because of………..something.
We were detoured onto the next street over and about halfway down it, I saw something that looked like a row of bounce houses coming from Cedar Lane and tried to take a PANO shot of it from my bus seat:
Oh goodie – another project to shoot on this now-sweltering day!
THAT may also be an upcoming post.
You’ve been warned……………..